Marineland opens for 2022 season facing animal cruelty charge

Marineland opened for its 2022 season Saturday facing an outstanding animal cruelty charge placed by Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) late last year.

According to the facility’s website, the park is open for the season as of 10 a.m. on May 21.

In October, police launched an investigation over the theme park's use of whales and dolphins in shows after the park allegedly used the mammals for entertainment purposes.

The passing of Bill S-203 in 2019 made it illegal under the criminal code to use mammals for entertainment performances.

NRPS laid one animal cruelty charge on the park in early December. The park has since denied all allegations of animal cruelty, claiming their mammal shows are of "educational nature."

On Marineland’s website, educational presentations with belugas and dolphins are advertised for the upcoming season.

The park has retained Toronto lawyer Scott Fenton and has made four court appearances since the charge was laid.

As of Marineland’s most recent appearance in a St. Catharines courtroom, the Crown is awaiting full disclosure. They are scheduled to appear again on June 29.